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21 Days of Musica Latina: Puerto Rico

Mara Corsino
Courtesy of the artist

Editor's Note: To commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month this year, World Cafe is going on a musical tour of Latin America. Every weekday from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, we'll spotlight the music of a different Latin American country with a curated playlist of essential tracks, fresh voices and wild cards.

There's so much of Puerto Rico's musical heritage we just couldn't fit onto a 25-song playlist, so consider today's 21 Days mix a drop in the bucket.

We're kicking things off with the iconic Puerto Rican reggae band Cultura Profética with their song "Ilegal," from 2010's La Dulzura. There are touches of salsa with crooners Jerry Rivera, Frankie Ruiz and Héctor Lavoe.

The mix also includes the hip-hop group Calle 13, who holds the record for the most Latin Grammy wins, with 21 awards, as well a cut from Calle 13 member iLe's solo work.

Buscabulla is another hugely successful boricua musical act. Vocalist Raquel Berrios and instrumentalist Luis Alfredo Del Valle take from salsa, reggaeton, bachata and more to create a sound that defies genre.

Enjoy, and make sure you come back next week to find out where World Cafe's headed next.

Copyright 2023 XPN

Miguel Perez
Miguel Perez is a radio producer for NPR's World Cafe, based out of WXPN in Philadelphia. Before that, he covered arts, music and culture for KERA in Dallas. He reported on everything from the rise of NFTs in the music industry to the enduring significance of gay and lesbian bars to the LGBTQ community in North Texas.
Byron Gonzalez
Guatemalan born and Los Angeles raised, Byron Gonzalez graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor's in journalism, with an emphasis on broadcast. Shortly thereafter, Gonzalez became the program director of Los Angeles' only 24-hour Latin Alternative radio station, The Latin Alt ( He's also a Latin Roots correspondent for NPR's World Cafe program. He has dedicated his career to highlighting a wide selection of music from established, emerging and independent artists with roots in Latin America, Brazil and Spain.